Breastfeeding is the biologically normal way to feed a child and it’s positive impact on the economy and health sectors of South Africa can no longer be denied.
Mothers are routinely shamed for public breastfeeding or asked to cover or move off to a public bathroom to feed their infants, and many mothers find that due to their companies non-compliance with our current Code of Good Conduct regarding Pregnancy and Breastfeeding, they are forced to cease breastfeeding well before they are comfortable or financially able to do so, and well before the World Health Organisations recommendation of 2 years.
By signing these 3 petitions we can make a positive change in South Africa by protecting and supporting a child’s most valuable right, the right to optimal nutrition, a right that is enshrined in South Africa’s constitution.
Anél Olsson from Normalise Public Breastfeeding in South Africa and Helen Ilitha, an internationally renowned Human Rights and Constitutional lawyer, have tirelessly worked for the protection and rights of breastfeeding mothers across Southern Africa, so let’s show our thanks and support for this amazing cause by signing all 3 of these petitions.
Petition 1 will ensure that the harassment of mothers who nurse in public becomes a criminal offence. Any public establishment or individual found guilty of harassment will be fined up to R10 000. No person/institution will be allowed to mock, humiliate, insult, ask to cover or segregate moms nursing in public.
Petition 2 supports the Amendment to Equality Act and will ensure that nursing mothers who are discriminated against for public nursing, i.e asked to cover or segregate – have recourse to legal action via the Equality Courts of South Africa.
Petition 3 will amend the Basic Conditions of the Employment Act in order to allow a working breastfeeding mother the right to express breastmilk for up to a year or the option of having her child brought to her place of work for scheduled feeds.